Gray Follow-up: 1 Yearish Later

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?? I return with an ending to my ‘growing out the gray’ saga, discovering that the middle was really, really boring. There were no road-blocks, mini-goals, or suspense of any kind. No products were used to alleviate any discomfort. Even the hair cuts were of no real consequence, until now.

When I see photos of myself, as a member of the ‘gray lifestyle’, it’s still a little surprising. Such a change from the light brown-dark blonde (my usual), to the gray mix. I’m pleased with the shade, I love the cut, and over-all, presently the best decision I’ve made. When I walk down the hair dye aisle at the store, I feel myself grinning and delighting in my new-found freedom! It’s one more thing off my to-do list.

As I get older, my ability to let go of my self-esteem issues becomes stronger. I accept more of what I have been given, especially since returning to better self-care with exercise and diet. A little bit of good health changes ones perspective in so many ways. I encourage everyone to LET IT GO! It’s a rush!

So here is the before and after…yikes!

Before

After

After

Cleanliness

What does ‘clean’ mean to you? What does ‘clean’ look like, to you?

sink-full-dirty-dishes.jpgThere are so many different ideas around the definition of clean. According to the dictionary, ‘free from dirt, marks, or stains’, means that it is clean. Factors contributing to  the perceptions of cleanliness: ethnicity, physical environment, parental tendencies, personality type, and I’m sure there are more.

For me, clean means to be able to make lunch on the counter, without having to wipe away crumbs from another meal, or move dirty dishes to create a space. Being able to use at least one side of the sink, at any time of the day, without removing contents, is a pet peeve of mine. This is a very general statement, but one that I follow to be respectful of others; if you make a mess, clean it up. This is simple, common sense!

I am no where near being a neat freak, or a germaphobe, or anything else that resembles it. Again, it’s simple to me. If I share a space with someone else, then I make sure I tidy up my stuff within a reasonable amount of time, so it doesn’t infringe on the other person’s space. Why should they have anything to do with MY MESS? They shouldn’t.

Do unto others as you would have done unto you, or something like that. I think that’s fair.

The general all around house cleaning, should be shared between the occupants. A no-brainer. If you share expenses, share good movie-watching, share cooking, share moments with a glass of wine, do your own laundry, then, help clean the house. If everyone pitches in, then no one is left with much to do. There is more time for the fun stuff.

It was challenging as a mother, one son was a neat freak, but only in HIS room; the other son was the complete opposite, and not only in his room. I made an effort, in several creative ways, to establish some sort of neutral ground. Unsuccessful would be a good word. The one, whom was the neat freak, is now the creator of disasters, and the other one, much improved. I would never have known that it would turn out this way.

I think it comes down to being mindful, slowing down enough to notice the mess, slowing down enough to notice  the others in the room. The mind may be creative, with a messy craft room, but the mind cannot be peaceful if the rest of the house is the same. There must be some space for ‘space’. A place for your mind to breath, to expand, to de-clutter. Feel joyful, when you walk into the bathroom that you just cleaned, and you notice how it sparkles. Lie down on the carpet that you just vacuumed, and smile when you get up and have no dog hair sticking to you. It’s the little things that usually go unnoticed, that make the biggest and most profound changes in your life.

This will come back to the topic of cleanliness, but I thought it prudent to mention. Being in a relationship is always, I believe, a work in progress. Communication is key, and contribution sits right next to it. Without discussing who will do laundry, then you will never know who should be doing it. Without discussing boundaries, you will cross over each others, and unknowingly create strife. A willingness to participate in all aspects of the relationship, without grumbling, or eye rolling, shows your partner that you care.

I will say again, I am not perfect, nor do I expect others to be. Just be respectful.

Would love to hear your thoughts on cleanliness. This could be an opportunity for you to rant!

 

Lost and Found

lost and found tagAs a child, I don’t recall much loss, and the same throughout my teenage years. There must have been some, and at the time, I assume I responded accordingly. My life was filled with so much happiness and love, that I suppose I was able to just get on with it, or I blocked it out. As a young adult, I remember the loss of family, hitting me hard, but not lasting any great length of time. I can look back now and see the stages of grief I went through, depending on the relation, and how close I was to them in life. My focus seemed to lie with how my parents felt about the loss, not so much me. I can remember thinking about how much they were hurting, and that is what made me sad.

When I married, and had kids of my own, the idea of loss was much greater. I had so much more to lose, much more that was precious to me. I also had a clearer sense of how I responded to loss; part of my journey on getting to know myself better. (…and I just noticed that I put my comfy shorts on inside-out; I wondered why they seemed darker…brb)

There are many different types of loss: death, ability, material things, relationships, plus. At one time in my life, the loss of material things was much greater. Now, yes I will be upset at it, but I will also recover very quickly from it. Even my photo albums, with all the wonderful expressions, and celebrations, and thoughts on the pages, don’t have a hold on me anymore. Again, I would be ticked, but what I have in this world with me now, is of much greater importance.

The loss of my marriage, of the white picket fence, the fairy tale, hit me the hardest, and I also learned the most about myself. My worry for my kids was front and center, and yet I knew there could be no other way. It was the best thing for everyone, and everyone will, in their own time, see that. I came out of that with a wealth of self knowledge and wisdom, that I can draw from.

With aging parents comes my experience with the loss of ability. It is like beginning the grieving process, and putting a hold on it, until the next noticeable change in behaviour, mentally or physically. For me, it feels a little less traumatic, spreading out the anguish into little parts, instead of one giant cry-fest. Learning to adjust to the changes in smaller increments, less pressure, less stress, a transitioning. As I go through it, I can discover my patterns, and adjust my behaviour, my reactions, with a sense of knowing, and an understanding.

As my kids grow into young adults, I experience second-hand loss. I watch their challenges, wins and losses, and grieve on their behalf, for I only want everything in the world for them. I’m not sure how much they actually process, when I share my life experiences with them, in hopes of alleviating some of their hardships. Even though I’m well aware that we have our own journeys and life lessons, I am full of great advice.

With the years beginning to add up on me, I’ve accumulated some losses, and looking back, the best conclusion I can see is; the less we have in material things, the greater the space in our minds, the less traumatic a loss will be. If you have the space to feel and to process and to love; less trauma, more peace. A knowing that the connection you’ve created from clearing the clutter (say that fast five times), will give you strength and the endurance that is needed to continue on. In loss, you find life.

Feel free to add your comments, they are always welcomed!

Writing 101

Pull From The Tides

cropped-sea-rock.jpgI close my eyes, relief from the brightness of the sun. The wind, a little on the cool side, blows with the intention of messing up my hair. As each gust passes through my hair, if it hits my ears just right, it deafens me. My ears are sensitive to the cold wind, so I adjust my scarf accordingly. I pull another kleenex from my pocket, the wind and the chill loosens my sinuses, and I must blow more often. A natural blush has highlighted my cheeks. I keep my hands in the large, soft, pockets of my fleece. It is not too cold, just on the edge of needing a warmer jacket.

I have acquired, over the past few years, an appreciation of the ocean. It’s inexhaustible, intoxicating, beauty. The intensity of it’s purpose, and the incredible power behind it. I live near the ocean, and currently have an amazing view that changes daily. It does not matter, the roof over my head, as long as I can reach out somehow to the ocean.

With my eyes closed, my hearing is sensitive to the sounds of seagulls, the sounds of small waves splashing the shore. The salted, scent of the ocean is present, and with each gust of wind, I breathe deeply. It fills me with an intense pleasure, nature’s beauty. I move closer to the water, feeling the pull from the ocean’s tides. My feet are inches away from the wet sand and the pummelled, round, colourful rocks that line the water’s edge.

I focus on the water moving towards me and then away, and back again. After a few waves, my body starts to rock in time with the motion of the water. My vision has blurred slightly, and I am taken to a place of pure contentment. No thoughts pass through my mind, yet, it feels full. I am being rocked gently, cradled, loved. I am one with the earth, unaware now of the birds, other passersby, any other sounds. It is intensely quiet, and I am almost brought to tears with this beauty I am feeling, as it washes through me. This lasts only a few moments, and leaves me wanting more.

I am challenged to recreate that intensity, that fullness. I was not human and the ocean was not water. There were no words, no names, I just was. It is only once, that I’ve had such an experience with the ocean. It’s different somehow, than anything else. What a gift I received, in those few short moments.

Writing 101     As always, comments are welcomed and encouraged. Would love to hear what you think!

A Lesson In Patience

green tea latte

My ritual. The pets are first in line to go outside, first in line to eat, and first in line to receive some love.

My ritual. Same breakfast of oatmeal, blueberries, walnuts, and sunflower seeds; with a little almond milk. Followed by…

My ritual. One cup of Vanilla Almond milk, heated; Shaklee’s Green Matcha Energizing Tea added. Followed by…

Lately, my ritual. A second cup. Complete indulgence.

No surprises in my morning, and I like it that way.

I love my pets, I love my breakfast, but, when I drink my green tea latte, well, that is just something else altogether. Pure, downright, bliss. I do believe I am addicted to the drink; to the routine. The tea, is in my thoughts, from the time I begin assembly of my breakfast. Take care of everything else, then sit, undisturbed, to drink my tea.

However, there is a problem, and just so you know, it is never my shortcoming. I’m faced with it nearly every morning. I guess I can also call it, my ritual.

I heat the almond milk on the stove. It only takes a few short minutes to boil. More often than not, in those few short minutes, someone or something distracts me. Okay, maybe it is my brain some of the time. I will consciously tell myself to come back to the stove, as soon as the short disruption is complete. Well, one thing leads to another, I hear a funny sizzling sound, (the milk boiling and bubbling up the sides of the pot, then flowing over), and I wonder what it is. Ever time, it takes me a moment to figure out where that sound is coming from. Every single time! Then, I must race into the kitchen, hollering, “no, no, no ,no, no”, and salvage what I can of the milk. On a rare occasion I get there before it goes over, and even rarer, I stand and wait for it to boil. This epidemic, which started a couple years ago, is most persistent.

A reminder of my lack of patience, is the aroma of burnt milk, whenever I turn the element on. I  must frequently wipe the stove and change the foil beneath the element. I call that a ‘make work project’.

Why is it so hard to just ‘be’ with the stove?

  • I could easily pull up a chair.
  • No, it doesn’t take longer if I watch it.
  • The short tasks that pull me away, are never important.
  • I could meditate.

Even though, intellectually, I understand what must be done, I won’t bring myself to do it. Intellectually, that’s what I don’t understand. Help me out here. Any suggestions? Do you have a similar issue? Should I just break free from my green tea?   Daily Prompt; Just Another Day

Downwind

ear-sound-waves-22820656I’m parked in a line-up, amongst other vehicles and passengers, and we all wait to be loaded onto the ferry. The sun is high in the sky, aimed just right, and doing its best to burn a hole right through my pants. After the first few minutes, I get out of the car, to take photos for, Cee’s fun foto challenge. Done with that, I return and enjoy the gentle breeze that blows through all the open windows in the lot. Someone is playing music, a little loud, but not obnoxiously. It’s not half bad. There are some quiet conversations in the background, and the hum of car motors, slowly pulling in.

Then there is the lady to my right, parked slightly back from me. The sounds–unnatural sounds–of clicking and ringing and pinging, drift through my open windows. After the third series, I lean forward slightly, turn my head to the right, and look at her. I don’t know what I thought would happen by repeating this movement several times, but I kept it up for a while. She never looked up. It was a game of sorts on her phone, that was keeping her so enthralled, and completely oblivious. However, she did ask her dog several times, if he was alright. He was obviously hounded by the din, just unable to communicate so. Could she not hear the noise? (chuckle) It must have been full volume, although, I do have exceptional hearing. Just ask my guy, it drives him crazy. I suppose I could have asked her nicely, to turn it down, but, I went with closing the two windows on the right side of my car. It worked well enough. I had only a couple more minutes to wait.

So, what is it with people and their clear, lack of consideration for others? Are they just so used to making a racket, that it doesn’t phase them anymore? Were they inconsiderate right from the start? I’m confused by the issue.

It could be just me, but, I am always aware of my surroundings. I like to be considerate of others. The volume on my game, (not that I play them), is only loud enough for me to hear. Pretty sure, no one else wants to hear it! There are innumerable fashions, colours, brands, of headphones, that will fit and style, all ears! Also, inexpensive, so you could have a different colour for every day of the week. So, what’s the problem people?

Is anyone else challenged by the sounds of technology? Rant with me!